Does A Homeowner Have A Right To Dispute An Insurance Settlement Offer?
When your home suffers damage from a weather event, fire, vandalism, or any other peril covered under your insurance policy, the next logical step is to file a homeowner’s claim and request payment from your insurer. This can be a stressful and overwhelming experience for the homeowner, since they are trying to repair their home and get life back to normal while also dealing with insurance.
After the claim has been submitted and reviewed, adjusters may inspect the property and provide their own recommendations to the insurer. When the insurance company has enough information, they will usually provide some type of insurance settlement offer to the insured.
The settlement amount is usually based on either replacement cost or actual cash value. Replacement cost provides the amount necessary to repair the damage using similar materials. Actual cash value provides the amount to repair or replace damaged materials based on the value of the home. Many times, the settlement offer from the insurer is adequate to cover a homeowner’s costs and they can move forward knowing they were fairly compensated.
What to Do When a Settlement Offer is Not What the Homeowner Expected
While we hope that an insurer will pay fairly for covered damages as quickly as possible, this is not what always happens. The fact of the matter is that insurance companies are businesses with a bottom line to protect. While they try to keep customers satisfied, they also are in the business of making profits. Sometimes that leads to less generosity when paying out insured property owners.
If you believe an insurance company’s settlement offer does not accurately address the costs involved in your claim, you do have options.
- Contact the insurance company. Let the insurance company know, as soon as possible, that you are not satisfied with the settlement offer and explain why. If they overlooked or missed key information, for example, that would be a valid basis to review the claim. There may also be other reasons you believe the settlement offer falls short. Do not hesitate to make your questions and concerns known to the insurer.
- Get an independent appraisal. In many cases it will benefit to have the damage appraised by a third-party that was not hired by the insurer themselves. This independent expert can review the damage and give their own estimate as to what a fair cost to repair or replace the damage would be.
- Contact a Property Damage Insurance Attorney. At any stage of this process, it can help to obtain the knowledge and experience of a Daytona, Florida property damage attorney that has represented clients in these disputes before. Even if your dispute does not end up in actual litigation, skilled attorneys in this area can help make sure your insurance company is looking out for you and your home, and providing fair compensation.
Our Florida Property Damage Attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., Can Help Resolve Your Insurance Dispute and Make Sure You Get the Fair Settlement You Are Entitled To
Unfortunately, insurance companies are known to play games and shortchange homeowners when it comes time to pay out a claim. Other times, they may simply overlook damage you believe should have been covered, or made an honest mistake when evaluating your claim. When you receive a settlement offer, you have a right to dispute it. The Daytona, Florida property damage insurance attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., have stood by insured homeowners for years to make sure they get paid fairly under their policies. If you want to know your full range of options, call our Daytona law offices at 386-252-5170 today, or schedule a consultation with our Daytona Beach property damage attorneys online.